CTA Brussels News

Information on key ACP-EU programmes and events relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries
August 2019 - No. 618


Ethiopia breaks world tree-planting record with EU's helping hands

More than 350 million saplings were planted all over Ethiopia on July 29th, shattering the previous record for the largest number of trees planted in a single day.
Staff from the European Commission and the EU Delegations to Ethiopia and to the African Union joined forces at Gulele Botanical Garden, in the hills above Addis Ababa, to plant dozens of trees with their bare hands. Personnel from local government and NGOs, the African Union, UN organisations, and embassies from all continents were also present at Gulele, one of hundreds of tree-planting sites across the country.


The government-led campaign calls for volunteers and civil servants to plant 4 billion trees this rainy season in an effort to restore soils and reverse deforestation in Ethiopia, which has lost most of its historical forest cover. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 2.6 billion saplings have been planted so far in this campaign.
"This massive effort will make an impact on greenhouse gases over the long term. Once these trees are mature, they'll capture millions of tonnes of carbon every year. This is an initiative that should be repeated every year" said Dominique Davoux, ResilienceTeam Leader at the EU Delegation to Ethiopia.
The European Union is Ethiopia's foremost partner in the fight against climate change. On 22 July 2019, the EU and the Ethiopian government signed a €36 million financing agreement to help the country grow greener. Ethiopia is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the EU grant will help mitigate its impacts and reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Featured CTA partner

Sander Govers, Business Development and international Retail Manager at Moyee Coffee FairChain

Moyee Coffee is the first multi-national coffee company based out of Ethiopia. In addition to utilizing one of the best roasting machinery in the industry, they are also developing an organic farm to ensure that the quality of the coffee remains at high standards. The FairChain practices such as local value adding activities (world-class roasting and packaging facility) and living wages, are the core aspects of their business model.
At the occasion of the Brussels Development Briefing n. 55 on Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture, held on 15 May 2019, Mr. Govers shared his views on how to increase price transparency through blockchain in the coffee chain in Ethiopia.
Sander Govers studied Business Economics at Nyenrode Business University and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. After a short career in corporate finance, he embraced entrepreneurship and started his own companies in textiles and high-end fashion. Working across the world, he sourced materials in countries like India, China and Turkey and built a wholesale and retail company, including online sales. In 2016, Sander joined Moyee Coffee as Business Development and international Retail Manager to support its FairChain mission: sharing value in the coffee value chain fairly and equally in order to increase living standards in the country of origin.
Watch his presentation

Strategic Events

Africa-Europe Alliance: Transport Task Force presents recommendations to promote sustainable development and jobs

The Africa-Europe Alliance Transport and Connectivity Task Force brought together leading experts from the public and private sectors of both continents from the world of mobility and connectivity. They will conclude their joint work with a series of recommendations to promote sustainable development and jobs, especially in Africa.
This meeting, which was co-chaired by European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc and African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Amani Abou-Zeid, is the culmination of work undertaken since the Task Force’s launch in January 2019. It brings together key recommendations in all three of the Task Force’s clusters: Infrastructure and Connectivity, Road Safety, and Air Transport.
Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: "The EU-Africa Transport Task Force is a clear sign of an increased focus on partnership between the African Union and the European Union. Our cooperation is in the first phase focused, in a form of concrete recommendations and clear action plans, on 3 priority clusters: connectivity with a trans Africa connectivity infrastructure, aviation with the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), and road safety with a comprehensive system approach.  Cooperation based on a mutual respect and shared commitments is a solid foundation for long term partnership including exchange of good practices, investments and joined global engagement."
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "Improving transport and connectivity is vital if Africa is to achieve its full potential. These recommendations will enable Africa to better harness the transport sector and use it as a key driver of economic integration, increased investment, and job creation. I thank all involved in producing the recommendations presented today. Our next job is to ensure these ideas are taken up and implemented, so that both African and European citizens can benefit."
The members of each cluster firstly met separately to conclude the work on their recommendations, before joining together to present the final recommendations. The Task Force as a whole met ith a view to endorsing the overall recommendations across the three areas. A single report presenting these recommendations, as well as key challenges that are faced, will then be published as soon as possible.
This task force is part of the 'Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs' announced by President Juncker at his State of the Union speech in 2018. The aim of the Alliance is to take the EU’s partnership with Africa to the next level by working together to boost strategic investment and create jobs. 
The Transport and Connectivity Task Force was one of four set up as part of the Alliance to deliver this vision. The others focus on agriculture, the digital economy and energy.
The Transport and Connectivity Task Force consisted of key players from both regions notably the European Commission, the African Union Commission, EU and AU Member States, as well as financing institutions, the private sector and academia.

Source: EC, 25 July 2019


Dominican Republic: EIB and the European Union agrees USD 70 million support for climate change resilience and adaption

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is backing a post-disaster and climate change resilience and adaptation programme in the Dominican Republic, to finance the rebuilding of infrastructure and housing damaged by natural disasters. In addition to the USD 50 million EIB loan, USD 20 million will be provided through grants from the EU-Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF), which will support the reconstruction of housing in the affected provinces and provide technical assistance support for the government and local authorities.
The financing partnership with the Dominican Republic government will support the reconstruction of damaged roads and housing, helping to re-build better climate resilient infrastructure. The support targets infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and flash floods in November 2017 in the four provinces mainly affected by these catastrophic events - Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata, Espaillat and Duarte. The programme will help to build 1,100 new affordable houses, 55km of new and upgraded roads, over 4km of new and rehabilitated dykes. These new projects will create around 2,400 jobs.

Source: EIB, 25 July 2019

EU signs sustainable fishing partnership agreement protocol with Senegal

On 19 July 2019 the EU and Senegal signed a new implementing protocol to the existing sustainable fisheries partnership agreement. The EU and Senegal have a long-standing partnership in the field of fisheries, which started back in 1980 and has evolved during the years. The new 5-year protocol implementing the 2015 agreement is replacing the current protocol due to expire in November 2019. This new protocol allows EU vessels - a maximum of 28 tuna seiners, 10 pole-and-liners, 5 long liners and 2 trawlers - to fish tuna-like species and hake in the waters of Senegal. This is based on the best available scientific advice, a stakeholders’ consultation, and follows the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

Reflecting on the principles of the common fisheries policy, this protocol will contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources in the waters of Senegal as, based on scientific advice; it foresees a lower total allowable catches for hake compared to the current protocol. The reference tonnage for tuna has been adapted to historical catches. Furthermore, it also foresees measures to limit catches of marine birds and marine mammals, and to reinforce the role of scientific observers.
In exchange for the fishing rights, the EU will offer Senegal a yearly financial contribution of  €1,700,000. Part of this contribution, €900,000 per year, is earmarked to promote the sustainable management of fisheries in Senegal, in particular through measures that reinforce control and surveillance capacities and the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. Moreover, the EU funds will be used to promote the development of scientific capacities and to support the development of the artisanal fishing. In addition to this amount, ship owners will also contribute with approximately €1,350,000 per year.
The new protocol will enter into force when the necessary legislative procedures for its conclusion have been completed.

Source: EC, 24 July 2019
GOB and European Union sign agreement for $31 Million grant

Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Her Excellency Malgorzata Wasilewska, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Belize, signed a Financing Agreement for a total of BZD $31.96M / Euro $14M for the energy sector. The signing ceremony was held today at the Office of Prime Minister at the Laing Building, Belize City. Funding for the energy sector is allocated under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) to assist in the social and economic development of Belize.The proposed project is in line with Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) and will assist in achieving the country’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of a “Sustainable Energy Roadmap of Belize”.
The project aims to:
 Provide solar energy mini grids and stand-alone systems for rural communities and individual households in Belize which are not yet connected to the national electricity land grid. Improve capacities and awareness of energy efficiency measures by public and private sector.Improve sector governance through strategic energy planning and modelling. Financing agreements were also signed for the Health and Public Finance Management sectors under the 11th EDF on March 13. The Energy Sector Financing Agreement completes grant funds under the 11th EDF.The collaboration between the European Union and the Government of Belize has contributed, and continues to support the sustainable development of Belize.

Source: Breaking Belize News, 22 July 2019
An ambitious energy project for the African Great Lakes region

An important agreement to advance the Ruzizi III hydropower project in the Great Lakes region was signed in Kinshasa with the three participating African countries, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This agreement will launch the phase of the complementary geological and geotechnical studies, the revision of the environmental and social impact studies, and will make it possible to proceed to the detailed preliminary design studies and to prepare its financial closure.

The signing took place in the presence of the regional energy organization Great Lakes, donors, including the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the KFW and AFD, as well as selected private investors, the SN POWER consortium and IPS.
The Ruzizi waterfall and its 3 hydropower plants will be an essential tool for the development of the region, the management of the electrical interconnection and the permanent supply of renewable electricity to the entire Great Lakes region.

Ruzizi III is the largest public-private partnership (PPP) project supported by Europe in the Great Lakes region since half of the total project funding will be provided by European donors, including AFD, the EIB, KFW and the EU. In total, the contribution of all the donors combined in Ruzizi III will amount to about 400 million euros.


Today's agreement is the culmination of a great deal of work that started with the launch of the technical and institutional studies jointly conducted by the EU and the European Investment Bank through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, for a total amount of 7 million euros. This phase was followed in 2012 by the selection of the private investor and the negotiation of the present agreements with the support of funds from AFD, KFW and the African Development Bank for an additional 3.5 million euros. Access to electricity is an important vehicle for attracting investment and creating jobs for the benefit of local people. Sustainable economic development in Africa is a priority for the European Union, which also sees access to electricity as a factor of stability, peace, integration and cooperation in the region.

Source: EC, 30 July 2019
West Africa: Two environmental protection programmes underway

The 16 Member States of the West African sub-region have launched two programmes to protect biodiversity and transboundary protected areas. Placed under the coordination of WAEMU, these projects are financed by the European Union to the tune of more than 74 million euros.
On July 25, 2019, the Ministers of Environment of the Member States of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as Mauritania, officially launched the Programme to Support the Conservation of Biodiversity and Fragile Ecosystems, Environmental Governance and Climate Change in West Africa (PAPbio) and the Programme to Support the Conservation of Forest Ecosystems in West Africa (PAPfor).
The kick-off ceremony was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, under the chairmanship of Batio Nestor Bassière, Minister of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso, representing the President of the WAEMU Council of Ministers of the Environment on that event. “Our present meeting, which is the first of its kind, comes at a time when voices are being raised to draw the international community’s attention to the multiple and diverse attacks on the protected areas system, with consequences that threaten the future of our protected areas, and even the existence of the populations living along them,” said Batio Nestor Bassière.

Read full article

Source: Afrik21, 31 July 2019

Key resources

Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries 2019

The world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs) are among those most at risk of being left behind. While official development assistance and domestic public resources remain essential for their development prospects, they alone will not be sufficient to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. With the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the international community acknowledged the need for significant additional public and private finance, and development partners are increasingly focusing on blended approaches. What are the trends in blended finance for LDCs? What can it achieve and how? The OECD and UNCDF are working together to shed new light on these issues. Building on a 2018 publication, this edition presents the latest data available on private finance mobilised in developing countries by official development finance, extending the previous analysis to cover 2016 and 2017 as well as longer-term trends from 2012 to 2017. It discusses the most recent international policy trends shaping the blended finance market, and what these might mean for LDCs. Stakeholders and practitioners also share their views on the challenges and opportunities in designing and implementing blended finance operations in LDCs.

Source: OECD Library, 2019

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: across the world

The report provides a short summary of how the EU and its Member States are supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in developing countries through development cooperation. It responds to a specific commitment in the Consensus, to produce such a report in 2019 and every four years thereafter. It focuses on the period since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 and is a contribution to EU reporting at the 2019 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Source: Europeaid, 2019


Brussels Development Briefing n. 57: “Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security and nutrition”
11 September 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Register here
2019 African Diaspora Agro Food Forum
13-14 September 2019
Meise Botanical Gardens, Belgium
European Research and Innovation Days
24-26 September 2019
Brussels, Belgium
CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Trade Expo
26 Sep - 28 Sep 2019
Union Halle Frankfurt, Germany
Click here for more info
European Week of Regions and Cities
More than six thousand people from all over Europe are expected to join the European Regions and Cities, this year under the headline "Regions and Cities: Pillars of the EU's Future".
7-10 October 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Registration Info
Food 2030: Nourishing people and nurturing the planet through sustainable health diets for all
Event organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
16 October 2019
From 13:00
Brussels, Belgium

This CTA Brussels newsletter is produced weekly by the CTA Brussels Office

Publisher: Ms Isolina Boto, Manager CTA Brussels Office (
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